Financial planning is imperative to achieve any financial goal in life. Whether it is saving, investment, wealth creation, or ensuring a regular stream of funds post-retirement, every goal requires a set of carefully made and executed decisions. One of the most understated facts about financial planning is that it is a very dynamic activity. We go through four stages in our financial life: the initiation, the dependents stage, the growth stage and the retirement stage. Your financial planning needs to be in tandem with the respective stages. Let’s dive deeper into the requirement of each of these stages.
This is your entry into adulthood. You have just started working and possibly received your first ever paycheck. It is important not to get too dizzy with the excitement of being financially independent for the first time in your life. Some of us have student loans in this phase or we are also planning to head for further education later. In either case, it is important to save. The first step to savings is by tracking your spending habits. Set aside 3-6 months of expenses as emergency reserves in a savings account. Set some savings goals.
Thus, in the first stage, you learn to master the art of budgeting, laying out your expenses and income. It is a good idea to start thinking about saving for retirement right away and inculcate the habit of saving generally. It would be aa good idea to also get term insurance right now, because of the tax benefits that come with it, and secondly, because you will have to pay a lower premium if you take a term insurance policy early in life.
Stage 2 & Stage 3
These are the dependents and growth phases - let’s consider them together because the timelines here are blurred. Once you have dependents and family members relying on your income, life insurance plan becomes imperative to ensure their financial protection in case of your unfortunate demise. In case you hadn’t already enrolled in a plan, now is the time to get started. You can also think of investing in a savings plan because a pure insurance product like term insurance does not bring maturity benefits.
Between this and the growth stage of your financial age, consider investing your savings to construct a portfolio that is aligned to growth, income or liquidity needs. Be sure to manage your debt wisely and if you haven't made solid arrangements for your retirement, it is never too late. Remember you should be able to provide for your family. The needs and prices are both going to rise. So, invest in a savings plan that can bring you guaranteed returns to help you offset the inflation.
This is also the time you should think about investing in a pension plan. After decades of working tirelessly, a person looks forward to the golden years of life - to be able to enjoy, travel and stay worry-free. Apart from the investment side of things, also make sure you take a health insurance policy early in life, and one that will continue well into your retirement ages.
Finally, for the retirement stage make sure you have a regular income stream through a pension plan and enough savings in an emergency fund. You also have to ensure a steady stream of income. Some of us get tired from the rush of the city life, so it would be worth pondering over if you can move to a quieter town too. You can also use savings to fund the dream destination you always wanted to experience. Hence, the pension plan will have your back.
Plan for your 4 financial life stages for a better financial future.
The aforesaid article presents the view of an independent writer who is an expert on financial and insurance matters. PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. doesn’t influence or support views of the writer of the article in any way. The article is informative in nature and PNB MetLife and/ or the writer of the article shall not be responsible for any direct/ indirect loss or liability or medical complications incurred by the reader for taking any decisions based on the contents and information given in article. Please consult your financial advisor/ insurance advisor/ health advisor before making any decision..
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